Activism Isn't A Trend: Meet 9 Brands Actually Making A Difference

Illustration by Lindsay Hattrick

They walk the walk

Every NYFW, there seems to be a multitude of designers making political or socially conscious statements on runways and in presentations. But, more often than not, it seems, the designers don't incorporate that activist mindset into their business practices, or even seem to care about activism year-round. It's not enough to simply send a statement down the runway if there is no tangible action to back it up. While a quippy T-shirt can serve as a conversation starter and may move things forward in a small way, direct contributions are vital to making sure that what we're fighting against—whether it be sexism, racism, environmental consciousness, or something else—is challenged.

So, we've rounded up our favorite designers who are actually making an impact, instead of simply profiting off of social awareness. Each of these brands gives back to charity, has a strong political stance, or gives work to women who wouldn't otherwise be able to get it—or all of the above.

Photo via @ThePhluidProject Instagram

The Phluid Project
As the first gender-free store, The Phluid Project's entire ethos is devoted to making sure that the LGBTQ community feels welcomed and represented. Not only is the store full of all kinds of queer goods, but the brand also regularly brings attention to causes like AIDS awareness. The store also has resources for mental health and LGBTQ safety listed on its website, so that anyone who is struggling has easy access to them.

Photo courtesy of Slow Factory

Slow Factory
Slow Factory's designs bring women—and the environment—to the forefront. Each piece is celebratory of a certain cause, and a portion of the proceeds go directly to charities. So, not only do the designs send a social message, but they also make an economic contribution.

Photo courtesy of Kenneth Cole

Kenneth Cole
Kenneth Cole spoke out about the AIDS crisis when it wasn't even being spoken about by then-President Ronald Reagan; the brand created a campaign to spread awareness and accurate information about the disease, and how people could help. This brand ethos has only continued throughout the decades, raising awareness on social issues and donating to various causes.

Photo courtesy of Collina Strada

Collina Strada
Collina Strada's Fall 2019 runway show called for the fashion industry to make major strides to become more sustainable. The brand itself is leading the way, announcing that 75 percent of the fabric used to create this collection was deadstock materials.

Photo courtesy of Patagonia

Patagonia has been vocal about politics since the '70s, and continues to be in the era of the Trump presidency, becoming even more outspoken about its political and environmental responsibilities. Beyond volunteering and donating to charities, Patagonia gives small grants to people who are trying to make a difference on a small, personal scale. The brand also has a resource on its website to connect grassroots activists, who don't know where to begin, with places that can use them.

Photo courtesy of Wildfang

A portion of every single full-priced item at Wildfang goes directly to charity, with the brand rotating which charity receives the donation each month. The charities which receive contributions mainly support women, specifically queer women. Plus, the brand itself regularly releases lines of political and pro-LGBTQ merchandise.

Photo courtesy of Kidd Bell

Kidd Bell
Whenever possible, Kidd Bell uses recycled or otherwise ethical materials to produce its products, and works with small and local businesses to design and create some of its goods. It also partners with notable people like Stephanie Beatriz to make lines that give a portion of proceeds to local and global nonprofits.

Photo courtesy of Amour Vert

Amour Vert
Amour Vert's clothes are made in small batches to reduce waste as much as possible, and all fabrics are ethically sourced. Plus, for every T-shirt bought from the brand, it will plant a tree in North America through its partner at American Forest. According to its website, the brand has planted over 200,000 trees and taken part in 21 reforesting initiatives.

Photo via @DiffEyewear Instagram

Diff Eyewear
As a person with terrible eyesight, I'm incredibly aware of the privilege that comes with being able to afford glasses and contacts. Without them, I'd be extremely restricted and unable to do most things. With every pair of glasses bought from Diff Eyewear, the brand donates a pair of reading glasses to someone who wouldn't otherwise be able to get them. The brand also devotes a ton of time to volunteering and has donated to hundreds of charities.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.